What happens when a flock of geese meets a flock of starlings on a collision course in midair?
The answer was recorded in video taken last month by Andrew Billington as he watched a flock of 50,000 starlings fly together over the Martin Mere nature reserve in Lancashire, England.
As they met up with the starlings, hundreds of pink-footed geese acted like a bowling ball, scattering the starlings like bowling pins in a rarely seen aerial display:
“I’ve never seen a starling murmuration be split by another flock of birds before,” Billington told Caters News. “I’ve seen skeins of pink-footed geese flying in while the starling murmuration has been taking place before, but they either pass by them or arrive shortly after.
“However, this time a flock of over 200 geese flew in as the starlings were right in their flight path.
“I am so glad that I was filming at the time and was able to capture their approach and the moment that the starling murmuration parted at the last second to let the geese pass through.”
When the starlings splintered off in all directions, the admiring crowd reacted in amazement.
“Once the geese had passed, the starlings reformed into a large group and they continued to display for another 15 minutes before finally dropping down into the reed bed to roost,” Billington told Caters.
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